Phil Jackson Welcomes 'John Doe'; Sasha Vujacic Surprised by Trade
"Well John Doe could, the way we're playing," Jackson said after the Lakers coasted to a 103-89 win Tuesday in Washington. "We're hoping that John Doe would be a big guy."
Smith is reportedly headed to the Lakers in a three-way trade that will send Nets guard Terrence Williams to the Rockets and Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic to the Nets along with two future first-round picks. FanHouse's Sam Amick confirmed the trade Tuesday afternoon.
Jackson wouldn't name names as the deal cannot be publicly discussed until Wednesday because of the inclusion of Smith, who signed as a free agent last summer and thus can't be traded until Dec. 15. The deal will be finalized after that deadline.
But it's clear Jackson is eager to add another big man to the Lakers' front-court rotation, which is currently short-handed even with the return of Andrew Bynum, who played his first game of the season Tuesday and played 17 minutes off the bench against the Wizards.
As for Vujacic, the 26-year-old guard appeared at least outwardly confused by the situation while speaking to reporters after the game.
"We'll see, I don't know what to say right now," he said. "At the moment it's just a rumor so if it happens then we could talk later on."
"You guys kind of surprised me," he added.
Vujacic has appeared in just 11 of the Lakers' 25 games this season, averaging fewer than five minutes off the bench. The Lakers are apparently so eager to dump his $5.4 million salary -- and get off the hook for paying it again via a dollar-for-dollar luxury tax penalty at the end of the season -- that they're including their 2011 first-round pick in the deal for Smith, who's making the veteran's minimum of $1.3 million, of which nearly $500,000 is subsidized by the league.
On the prospects of moving to New Jersey, Vujacic offered this: "They're a young team, they're rebuilding their franchise and it's interesting."
Vujacic could join Jordan Farmar as a former Laker seeing his minutes increase in New Jersey. And the potential for playing time offered a bit of silver lining.
"I'm 26 years old, I've played a few years and the last couple years playing on and off, it was just killing," Vujacic said. "We'll see -- if it happens -- then I definitely want to double what I did in LA."